Weird and wonderful treasures at unusual sale

A toy train, complete with a bucket load of track and carriages, would make the ideal gift for rail enthusiasts.
A toy train, complete with a bucket load of track and carriages, would make the ideal gift for rail enthusiasts.

IN A quandary about what to buy the clan for Christmas?

Well with a little imagination, a dash of auction good fortune and a bid card, you could stuff their stockings with goodness, courtesy of the final Warwick pig and calf sale of the year.

The Bush Tele wandered down to Lyons St on Wednesday to do a little research for readers about what was on offer.

Hayden Fletcher might be just seven, but he knows an opportunity when he sees one - Christmas trees complete with tinsel and baubles.

Although, he did wonder briefly if buying an already fully decorated tree wouldn't be a little like "cheating".

Meanwhile, his mum Wendy had her bid card handy, but stressed her ideal gift would be rain on the 3000ac cattle property her family runs at Old Koreelah.

Yet she put aside concerns about the dry to buy her son and little daughter, Katelyn, 6, friendly Peking ducks as an early, but perfect, Christmas pet.

While a variety of animals are always on offer, other shoppers, like a chap called "Macca" from Mt Colliery, unearthed more unusual treasure like a 1914 Withcott pushbike and some antique pieces of furniture that "scrub up okay when you get them home".

Glen Innes collector Irene Flaherty has made numerous trips to the Warwick sale over the years and believes the secret to buying success is to look carefully.

Her favourite Lyon St purchase was a sterling silver cruet set made in 1890, which she took home for a bargain $10.

"I picked up some Franklin mint plates too - for about 50c each," Mrs Flaherty said.

"This week there was a silver coffee pot and some lovely vases. You just have to look closely."

Warwick's Fay Brearley is a Wednesday sale regular and she believes keeping an open mind is essential.

"If you come here thinking it's all rubbish, you really miss seeing the treasure," she laughed.

"I've picked up things like Bendigo Pottery here very cheaply.

"The same items are worth a fortune down south."

The weirdest thing she has ever seen auctioned in Lyons St is a dentist chair.

Incidentally she wasn't bidding.

Zeita Thomas from Toowoomba explained her stand out purchase was a near-new angle grinder offered by the local police as part of their unclaimed items sale.

But this week she was delighted by the find of a well-dressed porcelain doll.

A "perfect gift" for her granddaughter.

Pratten's Neita Swalling hasn't had as much luck and good humouredly joked: "You can find just about anything at the pig and calf sale, except maybe a good-looking single bloke.

"Although if you already have a man, you can find plenty here to buy for them."

She was talking about the barely used chainsaw, tyre rims, tools, model train sets and even an old blue loo for upgrading the bathroom ahead of the in-laws' arrival for the festive season.

There is plenty for those keen on antiques - ageing kerosene tins, hardcover history books, a stately silky oak wardrobe and a marbled topped side table holding up an ever so slightly paint-impaired gold cherub.

There were also bird cages, basins (thinking again of the guest bathroom upgrade), guinea pig hutches, pot plants, paintings, lamps and even giant porcelain cats.

The final pig and calf sale for the year is tomorrow morning.

The Lyon St auctions kick off again each Wednesday from January 2.

Topics:  warwick pig and calf sale

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